August 2020: A Better World is Possible

The recent news of the Milne ice sheet disintegrating on Canada’s Ellesmere Island struck a personal note with our organization and our founder, Will Steger.

The ice sheet was the last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic. Will crossed the Milne during our 2008 Global Warming 101 Expedition and according to Will, is the “last of the glacial ages and unfortunately it’s to be expected.” It’s a reminder that the Arctic continues to warm at twice the global rate.

Meanwhile, in the western and southwestern U.S., communities are experiencing extreme heat waves, demonstrating that climate change impacts are not isolated to one area of the world. And those impacts are not felt equally. Our work is critical.

On the solutions front, we’re sending our gratitude to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz for doing the right thing and filing an appeal on the approval of the Line 3 pipeline – protecting our water, our climate, and future generations.

Our recent programming events have also had a resounding success!

  • The Stay-In-stitute for Climate Change Education reached over 250 educators, featured powerful keynote speakers, and converged climate justice with social justice in compelling and thought provoking sessions that resulted in tears, laughter, and hope
  • Our EYEWITNESS Town Hall had over 500 registrations and over 350 people attended live with participants crafting their own climate story to deliver to their policymakers;
  • As part of our commitment to diversify the content and reach of our programming to reflect the demographics of our communities, we share in transparency and accountability that 20% of participants in both events self-identified as Black, Indigenous or people of color.

“My students face injustice every moment of every day and it is my duty to continue to learn from them and stand with them in their climate change education, empowering them to learn about their situation and to become advocates that lead with hope and with the absence of shame and fear.”

– Stay-In-stitute attendee

This month, we turn towards the start of a new fiscal year and school year. Applications are now open for youth in Greater Minnesota interested in YEA! Campaigns — youth-led local campaigns to bring systemic change through municipalities, school boards, county commissions, and other local elected bodies.

EYEWITNESS Book Club and Workshops continue on September 3rd and September 22nd. You can watch past events here.  Interested in listening to the connections between climate change and music? Tune into our Band Together podcast which released our 4th episode, featuring hip-hop artist and forestry professor Thomas Easley who talks about diversifying communities and conversations within the mainstream environmental movement.

As I look ahead, I feel it’s important to ground ourselves and engage with climate action at an even deeper level. We have fewer than 75 days before the next election. Join us on September 10th for our Use Your Vote webinar. Together, our votes can be enough to push for climate action. Register to vote, and pledge to vote climate on November 3 with us!

Onward,

Nicole Rom, Executive Director

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